Police get new computer to help find missing children
NEW SOFTWARE – Capt. Keith McCary, assistant chief of the Meridian Police Department, left, and Detective Deano Harper review new computer software designed to help find missing children in the United States. PHOTO BY PAULA MERRITT / THE MERIDIAN STAR
By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
Thursday, November 28, 2002
Meridian police are hoping a new computer and software will help them find children missing from this area.
Capt. Keith McCary, assistant police chief, said a new Dell computer, printer, scanner and computer desk were purchased with federal grant money from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
The new computer is now in operation at the downtown police station. And even though the department hasn't had any problems recently with missing children, McCary said it will still be put to good use.
According to studies released by the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 203,900 children were abducted by family members in 1999 the last year for which complete statistics are available. In the same year, 58,200 were abducted by non-family members.
In 2001, 840,279 adults and children were reported missing to law enforcement agencies and entered into the FBI's National Crime Information Center, the smallest number of missing person reports since 1992.
McCary said organizations similar to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children have helped lower the numbers. The organization has a Web site that operates in conjunction with the missing children computer program www.missingchildren.com.
Detective Deano Harper, who helped with the project, said Meridian nearly lost out on landing the computer and the equipment.